PaRappa the Rapper by Mike Sholars
In the mid-90s, a Japanese prog rock star, an American visual artist, and their small team of collaborators made a colorful cartoon hip hop rhythm game that looked and played (and kicked! and punched!) like nothing else on the market. Initially dismissed by some as a curiosity, PaRappa the Rapper was a hit with players that would eventually sell millions of copies, receive two sequels, and inspire entire genres into being. And for author Mike Sholars, PaRappa left a lasting impact.
Featuring exclusive interviews with creators Masaya Matsuura and Rodney Greenblat, original voice cast member Saundra Williams, and a medley of sharp game critics and music experts, Sholars’ PaRappa the Rapper is equal parts recap, remix, and recollection.
Sholars uses his love of hip hop and gaming to celebrate PaRappa‘s unprecedented mechanics, art, humor, cultural specificity, and uplifting themes as he pairs energetic game history with personal memoir to explain how a game about a rapping dog helped him feel seen when he needed it the most. Funny, informative, and sincere, Sholars’ book is a heartfelt reminder why we all gotta believe.
Mike Sholars is a writer, editor, podcast host, Creative Director, and former full-time journalist who got tired of getting laid off all the time. His work can be found in HuffPost, Kotaku, Polygon, and VICE. He lives in Toronto, Canada. All Canadian spellings of words are therefore intentional.
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